I Started In Mattress Sales & Now Make $100K As A Senior Marketing Manager

Illustrated by Twisha Patni
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions, and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
Age: 36
Current Location: Chicago
Current Industry & Title: Software, Senior Marketing Manager
Starting Salary: $32,000 in 2007
Current Salary: $100,000 base
Number Of Years Employed: 15
Biggest Salary Jump: $20,000 (from $60,000 to $80,000) in 2017
Biggest Salary Drop: None
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I took a new position that had the same salary as I already made but had a better title and shorter commute. Turned out that organization had a really unhealthy culture, so I only lasted a few months. But I made sure that my next position was a good fit for my personality AND offered a chance to move up in pay."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "The first step in looking for any job should be to decide what you'd like to make and what concessions you're willing to accept. That way, you're not blinded by a 'cool' job or desperate for any salary. This helps to keep things in perspective. No job offer is going to be a perfect fit...but if you know that you're willing to travel a bit more to make a higher bonus, or give up a couple thousand dollars a year for student-loan assistance, then you aren't as likely to jump at the first offer you get. On another note: Do NOT max out student loans so you have extra money to live on. Pay interest on loans while you're still in school. And for the love of all that is holy, stop eating out so much."

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